About Nina Schuyler

Nina Schuyler Articles written 7

Nina Schuyler earned her law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law. She has worked at the San Francisco Daily Journal as a reporter covering employment law, criminal law, and women in the law. At California Lawyer magazine, she was a senior editor. In addition to writing about the law, she is the published author of the award-winning novel The Translator, and has a new novel, Afterword, coming out 2023. Her award-winning short story collection, In this Ravishing World, will be published in 2024. She currently teaches writing at Stanford Continuing Studies.

Articles written by Nina Schuyler

‘He Wanted Closure for the Victims’

How the $1.1 billion Surfside condo collapse case settled so fast

While most class actions drag on for years, the lawsuit involving the deadly 2021 Surfside condo collapse was ready for court approval within a year—an extraordinary accomplishment for a settlement of $1.1 billion. Legal experts are looking at that as a model for compensating victims in future cases. The successful outcome required many ingredients, including commitment, expertise, coordination and empathy. The attorneys involved give much of the credit to Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge …

Taking on 3M

Bryan Aylstock represents Army vets in a massive suit over combat earplugs

Bryan Aylstock has been running at full speed since spring 2021, winning millions of dollars in damages for U.S. Army veterans who say they suffered hearing damage due to combat earplugs manufactured by 3M. It’s the largest mass tort in the history of the federal court system. “I’m proud to work on behalf of these vets,” says Aylstock. “It’s been a fight the whole way, and it’s been one of the most meaningful efforts in my legal career.” The earplugs were used by the Army …

The Electioneer

Chris Skinnell is a one-stop shop for ballot initiatives and most everything else voting-related

The presidential election is on everyone’s minds this year. But Chris Skinnell is always thinking about elections—and their building blocks: redistricting, ballot initiatives, voting rights and campaign-finance laws.  At the San Rafael office of government and lobbying firm Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni, Skinnell focuses on California. It’s not an exaggeration to say he has helped shape the state’s political landscape. His clients include businesses, nonprofits, trade …

One Animal at a Time

After her first case involving vulnerable pets, Jill Telfer couldn’t say no

On a sunny day in Sacramento last year, a woman was walking her two dogs, a 15-pound rat terrier and an 8-pound chihuahua. A man with a Labrador crossed the street, holding a club used in martial arts. When they passed, two of the dogs wagged and sniffed each other; then the man struck the chihuahua on the head with the club, killing it. He said he was worried the chihuahua was going to bite his dog. While the district attorney’s office did not file charges, Jill Telfer, founder of Telfer Law …

Cannabis Conundrum

Now that recreational pot is legal, public law attorneys like Ruthann Ziegler are helping cities cut through the haze

In November 2016, California voters passed Prop 64, legalizing recreational marijuana. That was the easy part.  The state left it up to each municipality whether to ban or regulate—and how to regulate—the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution and sale of cannabis. That has created a patchwork of rules and regulations. It’s up to attorneys like Ruthann G. Ziegler, who leads Meyers Nave’s cannabis law practice, to figure out the rest.  Ziegler serves as city attorney for …

Playing Shortstop

Brandi Brown thrives on fielding whatever life throws her way

Brandi Brown leads a guest into her office at One Montgomery Tower in San Francisco on a recent morning, apologizing for the mess. There are stacks of papers and files on her desk, behind her desk and on the floor, sharing space with rain boots.  Her 3-year-old son’s colorful drawings line the walls, while his face beams from photos on her desk. Tombstones from successful deals are scattered about, including a bottle of wine—Endless Sonoma—a thank-you for a referral. She has been happily …

Liquid Assets

For local lawyers in love with the grape, options range from helping vintners finance land deals to producing wine of their own

In 1984, Bob Arns and his wife, Anne, drove from Danville to Napa to drop off their kids with the grandparents for date night. By this time, Arns was earning enough as a plaintiff’s lawyer to eat at nice restaurants, but he knew little about wine. “I grew up in Oregon, hunting and fishing,” he says. “My father never graduated from college. My mom, the same. Beer was the beverage of choice.”  Bob and Anne ended up at the landmark Tra Vigne in St. Helena, where by chance they ordered a …

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